Author Archive

Kicktrade goes Twitter

Follow the kicktrade news on twitter. All news including server maintenance times and game changes will be announced only there from now on and will be linked via the app soon:

@kicktradegame

or

https://twitter.com/#!/kicktradegame

 

P.S.: Major release changes and other topics that can not be expressed in a few words will still be published here of course!

Kicktrade Update v0.13a released

The first two days of beta testing have revealed a bunch of minor changes to the game. With the new client v0.13a you will see the following:

  • All prices have been made x10 so a single trade which increased or decreased a stock price by 1 will not have such an impact on the price shift. Accordingly the end conditions have been adjusted so that stocks will be bought back by the bank with a price x10 as well (8000 for the 1st, 4000 for the 2nd and so forth).
  • Trading lock time has been increased to 2 hours. After you made a purchase, you can’t buy or sell the same stock for 2 hours. If someone else trades that stock however the time is reduced by half.  Also: The time currently remaining is displayed in the market list as well as on the stock trade page. This time might be increased further if the amount of players increases. Be aware that what is displayed is not the final lock time, it can change depending on the trade of others!
  • Example: You buy and would have to wait 2 hours. After 45 minutes someone else buys the same stock. So the total waiting time has been reduced to 60mins, giving you another 15mins to wait. A third person trading the stock will give you 120mins divided by 3 = 40 minutes of waiting time. Since you waited already 45mins the stock is unlocked for trade again immediately (and so forth). So even if you see a 2 hour waiting time it is worth to check back before the time ends in case someone else made a trade and thereby unlocked the stock.
  • A Price History Graph has been implemented. However, this is still a very early stage and besides displaying a curve there is not much working yet. I just thought it might be helpful enough to be in there already.
  • Minor Bugfixes: Depots that are empty are correctly removed from the list now.

Kicktrade goes beta

I am proud to announce that my hobby project is entering the beta testing phase. For those of you who don’t know yet, Kicktrade is an Android multiplayer game where the players buy and sell virtual stock of football teams that are participating in a real competition. In this case you can trade the 16 teams of the Euro Cup 2012 with the goal to become the richest player. You are invited to try out the free beta now. Head over to the Kicktrade Section (top right menu) and download the apk file now. There you will find also further information on the game itself.

The basic functionality is finished, however there are some special cases that might not be handled correctly, for example differences in OS version, screen resolutions, input devices… This is where you come in: Try everything and report any bugs you can find. The following things will be added in one of the following releases:

  • Bug tracking / support ticket website
  • Night mode: Trades are slowed down at night between 0:00 and 8:00. You will be able to make only one buy or sell per team during this time or maybe even no trade at all so i can use the time as maintenance period.
  • Link to football team websites or other news feed to get live information on gossip and facts.
  • Evaluation of winning conditions: This will be implemented toward the end of the Euro Cup.
  • Design: The design will be changed completely including a consistent identity more fitting to football and trading.
  • Order book: Sell or buy at a set price.
  • Display of possible volume to sell / buy.
  • Messages/Social: Send messages to other players, form groups of players, collect achievements, facebook wallposts, twitter and the like…
  • Better feedback on errors with messages and popups or required updates of the client. Also on the server side there are still some open issues, like how to upgrade the database after making structural changes.
  • Localization in different languages
  • Oh and and many many more…

BUT: For now I am asking you to help and focus on finding bugs and exploits first.

Now for some screenshots of version 0.11 beta:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Mix: Minimal Hovering

There is a new mix for download in the Music section. This time, I started out to be very minimal. The first couple of tracks I really love, mainly because of their fresh and unconventional underground feel. The pace increases after about 1/3 of the way and becomes a little more progressive and even a bit big room, taking a few turns into the melodic and then in the last third of the mix it goes down until ending up in my obligatory chill-out zone. It is roughly 1 hour and 45 minutes long, so take your time to enjoy the beast in its whole without interruptions. There are a lot of different styles covered within. It is again a mix of all the tracks I liked listening to the most in the past couple of months. I must admit, it was not easy to get them all working together this time and you might notice the fades are a little bumpy in the last half, but I just wanted to get all of them into one mix because they are just awesome. Hope you enjoy!

Direct download: here.

More mixes: here.

Howto: JBoss Seam Performance Problems and Optimizations

Are you a java web application developer and you are working with JBoss Seam? Ok, then you might be interested in the following JBoss Seam performance problems (and their solutions). If not you should seriously consider leaving this post! It is rather long and dry and might make you never consider programing with Seam EVER (which can also be a good thing, but I will leave this discussion for another post). In any case: You have been warned.

Soo… I have recently gained some experience developing a medium/large web application with Seam and I also discovered a couple of pitfalls you run into when using this framework, especially in terms of performance optimization. At some point, I had pages of just average complexity, loading in more than 17 seconds! In this post, I will go over each of the steps that i did to speed up those pages to 3 – 6 seconds. During my code analysis, I searched through a couple of Seam performance tuning pages out there, but for some reason they did not really provide me the tweaks or straight solutions I was hoping to find. Many of the tips I found sounded very reasonable, but when I applied them to my project, there was barely any change in Seam’s performance! That’s why I publish my own list of performance optimizations, which definitely had a visible impact at least on my code and hope I can help those among you, who find themselves in a similar position like me. And even if my performance tuning tips are not able to help in your particular case, at least you will learn how to identify performance problems in your Seam project with this post.

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What’s your password?

Over the years of internet usage, most of us grew accustomed to the fact, that we should choose passwords, that are not plain text. No, they should be as cryptic to our eyes as possible: containing numbers in random positions, special characters like ‘@’ instead of ‘a’ and some of the letters have to be capitalized. What sounds so plausible is only based on the fact, that we are not good at remembering them, so we *think* those passwords are secure. But are they really?

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Stephen Colbert interviewing Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson makes astrophysics accessible to the average people by his enthusiastic and entertaining way of telling stuff and Stephen Colbert’s fun way of leading the interview is a quality bonus to this video. If you are only slightly interested in the questions why we should raise our scientific literacy and what makes astrophysics valuable to everyone, you should really watch this entertaining talk:

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More mixes just went online

Browsing around my old mixes recently, I found two quite old ones from the years 2006 and 2007 that I just have to publish! One is called E-Lounge and the other one Springbreak. I have been listening to them while working today and although it is now nearly 6 years ago when i made them, I was surprised how fresh and full of energy they went… and I made myself a rule that all mixes that I am still listening to today, I will keep on my blog – so here you go…

Check out my music section, scroll down to the very bottom and download them right away! Feel free to get the other ones while you are at it as well (if you haven’t done so already) and don’t forget to leave some feedback!

Caching enabled, Shoutbox disabled

I was playing around with some caching options on my blog, because the response time has been reportedly slow lately. I found a relatively decent configuration especially thanks to the W3 Turbo Cache plugin, but now my beloved shoutbox ‘Schreikasten’ (formerly displayed on the right side as a widget) did not work properly anymore. Although I will look into what exactly the problem was again, until I find a solution, I will have to disable the shoutbox for now. I am not sure what to do with all the stuff that I would have posted there. Usually that stuff was not worth to open a whole entry for. And visitors where able to drop a line without the context of a blog post in it. However, I prefer a faster website. Maybe I will collect my findings in a regular post once enough has been accumulated, like stromkopf does. Any other ideas besides going twitter?

How to merge multiple RSS feeds into one

If you have a wordpress blog (or any other kind of website), you might come across this problem some day: you want to fetch multiple RSS feeds and merge their entries in chronological order into one feed. Don’t panic, I might have found the solution for you. On my WordPress blog you can see I have RSS feeds for the blog posts, the user comments and now also the shoutbox entries. Most visitors were not aware of the different RSS feeds on my page (and who could blame them?), so I decided to combine them all into one big feed. Here is what you need to do…

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